Master of Science in Geography
Graduate students in our Master of Science programs are expected to acquire a broad foundation in geography in addition to specialization in one or more thematic areas. Students who earn the MS degree are prepared for teaching in some small colleges, and for applied geography posts or cartographic positions in government agencies, planning organizations, environmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private industry.
Degree Requirements for the MS in Geography Program
- Minimum 22 credits
- 16 credits must be taken as a UW-Madison grad student
- May include up to 6 research (Geog 990) credits
Maintain GPA = 3.0
Breadth Requirements – one course in each of:
- Physical Geography
- Human Geography
- People-Environment Geography
- Statistical Methods
- Note #1 – Students who have not taken courses in all or some of these areas prior to applying for the program may still be admitted but will be expected to complete any missing coursework during their residence here.
- Note #2 – One of these courses can count for both Breadth Requirements AND Course Requirements but are typically not seminars. /ul>
- Geog 765 + Geog 766
These courses introduce graduate students to research in the field of geography. The 765 course stresses conceptual contexts, while the 766 course emphasizes research design.
- 2 Graduate-level courses
- 300-level and above
- Both must be Geography
- Cannot include seminars
- 2 (3-credit) Geography seminars involving 2 different faculty
- Proposal is typically completed in Geog 766 in 2nd semester
- Research/data analysis typically completed in summer + 3rd semester
- Thesis is typically of modest length (usually ~ 50 pages of text).
- Final draft submitted and defended in 4th semester +/- summer.
- The scope of the thesis should be sufficiently limited so that research and data analysis can be completed in the summer and third semester, followed by the submission of the final draft and defense in the fourth semester. The thesis must be defended orally before a thesis committee.
Advisor and Committee
- Your Advisor, who is also the chair (or co-chair) of your Committee must be graduate faculty in Geography (or affiliated with Geography).
- Your Committee must have a minimum of 3 members, two of whom must be graduate faculty (or former grad faculty up to one year after resignation/retirement) and two of whom must be affiliated with the Geography Department.